How Fashion Shaped My Photography
When I was eighteen, I invented the Bisadora Hip Purse, which earned an engineering patent. I had never planned on working in the fashion industry. I was never particularly into fashion, and I hated carrying a handbag. I originally designed my hip purse because I used to go out to the nightclubs with my friends, and I wanted a stylish hands-free purse. Little did I know that my design would take me on a wild adventure of traveling overseas to create an entire line of handbags.
Being such a young entrepreneur in the handbag industry was intimidating and overwhelming. I had so much to learn, and I didn't have a mentor to guide me through the process. Fortunately, I did end up finding individuals to help me develop my invention and give me advice on creating a successful handbag collection, which included the hip purse, handbags, messenger bags, and wallets.
As it turned out, designing and manufacturing was much easier than the second part of building my business, which was marketing. During this time, I learned about effective web designs, social media marketing, networking, among other strategies. I could probably write a book on my experiences running Bisadora Handbags, but the main point of this blog is to share how my time in the fashion industry shaped my photography style. A significant part of branding and marketing is visual, which often involves photography. There are so many genres of photography and, in the fashion business, I learned about product, lifestyle, and editorial photography.
Product photography taught me the importance of lighting and composition. Color accuracy is important for obvious reasons, but I also learned that the pose was just as important. I ran an online shop, and the models had to show how the purse would look on the body. In these types of photoshoots, the handbag was more important than the model. Product photography is more straightforward compared to other types of photography because the purpose is to show the product as accurately as possible. Also, there's immediate feedback if customers feel that the website description is inaccurate.
Lifestyle photoshoots were important when I was creating marketing campaigns to show consumers why they should purchase one of my designs. When I worked on these photoshoots, I learned about storytelling and creating a mood. Without using words, the photographer and I created lifestyle shots that I felt best described my handbag collection. These photoshoots are what really got me interested in photography. I found them to be challenging and fun, but I think what I really liked about the photoshoots was that I had something to show at the end of the day. Over time, I got mored involved with the photography, and I ended up doing a few of the photoshoots myself.
I feel very fortunate for those years as a fashion designer because I met many incredible photographers who generously shared their knowledge with me. Those important years gave me a great foundation for my photography, which I have carried into my business. Life has taught me that our paths are rarely straightforward. We start in one direction, and along the way we discover new things about ourselves which can ultimately lead us on a better and more exciting journey.